Place your bets.
In the latest Hoonigan installment of This vs That, Rob Dahm's incredible four-rotor Mazda RX-7 that produces between 1,000 - 1,300 horsepower goes up against an 850-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. While this sounds like a rather odd match, the drag race makes for thrilling viewing.
But before we get into the race, let's look at what these vehicles pack under the hood. The '93 RX-7 sends its mighty power to all four wheels. Naturally, it's turbocharged, but this isn't your average RX-7. Dahm has taken years to complete his project and sports components from various unlikely donors. The water pump, for example, is from a BMW X6, while the fan shroud has been lifted off a Corvette C7 Z06.
In comparison, the Jeep looks more demure. The 6.2-liter supercharged V8 makes 850 horses when running on E85 fuel.
To put that power on the road, owner Jonathan has fitted Toyo Proxes 888 tires, Eibach lowering springs, and aftermarket wheels. Amazingly, it's his daily driver and serves as a family wagon when it's not hitting the drag strip.
So, which car will take home the victory? Most of the Hoonigan team thinks the Jeep has it in the bag, but that remains to be seen. Both vehicles set off at neck-breaking speeds, the whining rotary motor fighting the roaring V8 for dominance. The Jeep appears to hold its own at first, gripping the surface with tenacity and holding on to the Mazda's rear.
However, as the RX-7 gets into its stride, the Trackhawk stands no chance, and the custom Japanese sports car leaves it for dead in the first 1,000-foot race. The Jeep still has a chance to reclaim its honor, though, with the second race running over a distance of 500 ft.
In the second round, the Trackhawk takes off with gusto, leaving the RX-7 trailing. With one win each, the final 1,000 ft race will determine who walks away with the crown.
Dahm explains that his front driveshaft developed an issue, forcing him to run the car in rear-wheel-drive. "[Now] it's a more fair race because I have more power, but I no longer have all-wheel-drive in this last race," he adds.
The Mazda has more trouble getting off the line. Thanks to all-wheel drive, the Jeep takes off confidently and launches ahead of the RX-7. It doesn't take long for the RX-7 to pass the Trackhawk, relegating it to second place, with about five car lengths between them.
While the Mazda is lighter - and more powerful - it's impressive to see how well the Jeep did. Sadly, this is the last of its kind, as Jeep has no plans to continue using this engine in the new Grand Cherokee.
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